Bit error rate tester expands expands jitter tolerance testing capabilities

Bit error rate tester expands expands jitter tolerance testing capabilities

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By Jean-Pierre Joosting

The explosive increase in data communications traffic requires large increases in capacity and speed of digital communications systems. Increasing the speed of typical serial bus interface standards, such as PCI Express and USB, while ensuring signal quality, is becoming more and more difficult and requires confirmation of margins using Jitter Tolerance tests. The High-Speed Serial Data Test Software MX183000A controls the MP1800A, Jitter Modulation Signal Source, Pulse Pattern Generator (PPG), and Error Detector (ED) to perform state machine control of the high-speed serial bus interface and Jitter Tolerance tests, helping cut test time and assuring accurate signal integrity measurements.

Achieving high-speed, large-capacity data transfers requires technologies for speeding-up networks and devices, as well as faster interfaces between high-end computers and peripherals. The receiver test for PHY devices using high-speed interfaces uses a stressed signal with added transmission loss, jitter, etc., to assure compatible connectivity. The next-generation Thunderbolt 3 standard increases the bit rate per lane to 20.625 Gbit/s, which requires even higher precision calibration and measurement. The Thunderbolt Receiver Test Solution GRL-TBT3-RXA calibration and receiver test software developed in cooperation with Granite River Labs (GRL) uses a combination of the MP1800A, noise-generating signal source, and real-time oscilloscope controlled by the GRL-TBT3-RXA software to lighten the workload of test engineers by automating calibration of complex test signals and jitter tolerance testing.

The MP1800A is a highly expandable plug-in modular-type bit error rate tester (BERT). It incorporates a Pulse Pattern Generator (PPG) module for generating the highest-quality, highest-amplitude signals in the industry, as well as an Error Detector (ED) module with the highest input sensitivity available. The platform supports signal analyses including Burst pattern, Bathtub Jitter and Eye Diagram measurements. Additionally, the MP1800A is a wideband BERT with good performance including excellent waveform quality and input sensitivity, supporting high-reproducibility Thunderbolt receiver tests, and also evaluation of high-speed serial interfaces, such as 100GbE, InfiniBand, etc.

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